Protein synthesis is a fundamental biological mechanism bringing the DNA-encoded genetic information into
life by its translation into molecular effectors - proteins. The initiation phase of translation is one of the key points of gene
regulation in eukaryotes, playing a role in processes from neuronal function to development. Indeed, the importance of the
study of protein synthesis is increasing with the growing list of genetic diseases caused by mutations that affect mRNA
translation. To grasp how this regulation is achieved or altered in the latter case, we must first understand the molecular
details of all underlying processes of the translational cycle with the main focus put on its initiation. In this review I discuss
recent advances in our comprehension of the molecular basis of particular initiation reactions set into the context of
how and where individual eIFs bind to the small ribosomal subunit in the pre-initiation complex. I also summarize our
current knowledge on how eukaryotic initiation factor eIF3 controls gene expression in the gene-specific manner via reinitiation.
Keywords: Translation initiation, ribosome, eIF, mRNA, AUG, translational control, reinitiation, GCN4, EUKARYOTES, MFC.
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